Botanical Name Cymbopogon winterianus Jowitt.
Synonyms -
Family Gramineae
Local Name Citronella
English Name Citronella (Java)

Plant Description

Citronella is cultivated in Nepal within the altitude of 500-lGOOm. It is tall aromatic perennial grass reaching up to 2m. Leaves fragrant, leaf blade linear, tapering to a long membranous, acuminate tip. Inflorescence large and drooping and end in racemose pair supported by the proper sheaths; Racemes are sessile or short; longer pedicelled with tow lower spikelets. Propagation is extensively carried out by slips (vegetative method).


Citronella oil is obtained by steam distillation of partially wilted leaves of Cymbopogon winterianus.


Citronella oil is extensively used in perfumery perparations such as soaps,detergents,cosmetics etc.

Medicinal & Aromatherapy use: Anti-infectious,antiseptic, antibacterial, antidepressant, antispasmodic, anti­ inflammatory, deodorant, diaphoretic fungicidal, insect repellent (mosquito), stomachic, excessive perspiration, oily skin and hair, room deodorizer, rheumatism and arthritic pain.

Organoleptic Properties

Appearance: Fluid liquid
Colour: Light Yellow or Yellowish Brown
Aroma: Fresh and sweet,Powerful,citronella! scent

Active Constituents

Geraniol,citronellol (dominating in the Java oil,about 80%), geranyl acetate, limonene, citronellyl acetate, elemol and camphene are active constituents. Others are citronella!, neral, 13-caryophyllene, 13-elemene, y-cadinene and traces of cubenene, calamenene, bourbonene, bisabolene, eugenol,nerol,linalool etc.

Physico-Chemical Properties

Specific gravity 0.870 to 0.95 at 25° C?>
Optical rotation [-]5° to 0° at 25° C?>
Refractive index 1.465 to 1.485 at 25° C?>
Acid number 0.5 to 3.5
Ester number 20 to 40
Ester number 250 to 280 (after acetylation)
Solubility Soluble in 0.8 to 1.5 vol. of 80% alcohol